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How to use academic surveys

Add depth to your scholarly research with data and insights gathered from surveys.

Put your theories to the test. Sound survey data makes your research conclusions stronger and more compelling, providing direct evidence to support or refute your claims.

Academics can use surveys to test hypotheses about attitudes and behaviors in a range of domains: business, politics, health, and more. Have a new program of research? Test your intuitions with open-ended questions first and get rich qualitative data. For longitudinal research, repeated survey measures can help you establish a baseline and track changes over time.

Moreover, online surveys medium allow you to survey people around the world instead of having to bring them in. It also eliminates the hassle of entering data from a pencil and paper survey. When you use SurveyMonkey, you can export your research data in a variety of formats such as SPSS, XLS, and more.

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What are academic surveys?

Students, faculty, and professionals conduct academic surveys as part of their research projects. An academic survey is a tool designed to obtain more knowledge and data about a chosen subject. The results are used to answer questions or confirm hypotheses posed by the researchers. Surveys results can then be the basis of your research report or presentation.

What can you gain from using academic surveys?

Academic surveys can help you accomplish a variety of things. Here are a few:

Push boundaries beyond textbooks

Bring learning out of the classroom when you use surveys to conduct your own research and data collection. Surveys can expose students and other academics to current research models, how applications function, and the evolution and theories. These things are more effectively learned by conducting actual academic surveys.

Deeper knowledge of the chosen subject

When a professor wishes to improve their expertise in a specific field, academic research surveys offer in-depth insights beyond what is already known. Academic surveys give people the chance to perfect their expertise and become subject-matter experts.

Validate research findings with solid data

Validate your academic theories by examining them within the context of solid, real-world data from your target audience. Surveys can provide the data needed to confirm or refute your professional opinion.

Stay current with survey tools and technology

Academic research technology and tools are constantly evolving and improving. SurveyMonkey uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to help you conduct the best possible surveys, earning you higher response and completion rates.   

Find new opportunities to research

Surveys can sometimes shed light on areas of discovery. Research based on academic survey data can be used for your academic thesis or published in accredited journals. This can lead to scholarships, grants, funding, and more. 

Reach an audience around the world

Academic survey research tools allow you to collect data beyond the confines of your locality. Your study can become global with a few clicks of the keyboard, and you can collect data from anywhere in the world.

How to use surveys in academic research

Pretest

Launching a large-scale or costly project? Surveys can help validate ideas by allowing you to get a glimpse of what insights are out there. Testing your methodology with an online survey and a convenience sample first can help you catch any errors or confusion early on, saving you time and money. Learn more about our methodology.

Sample smarter

Surveys help you reach a subset of your target population, even before your research project begins. Before you test your hypothesis, determine what method you’ll use for reaching your target population. What’s the best way to reach them—email, SMS, maybe a QR code? Start small by testing your surveys on a small population before determining what survey methodology you need for your academic research. SurveyMonkey Audience can help you find that target population in just a few clicks.

Utilize longitudinal studies

Want to research the long-term impact of something? For example, you could consider the livelihood of public health awareness programs, economic policy, energy practices, and more but by looking at specific demographics of people. Academic surveys can help you obtain a baseline or even benchmark against other industries. Learn more about SurveyMonkey industry benchmarks.

Conduct field training and development

Use surveys to obtain feedback and assessments at places where you intern or train for valuable insight on the “way you show up” in the professional world. Use the feedback you receive on your practicum, internship, graduate student research, lab work, or student teaching to guide your continued skills development.

Sample academic research survey templates

Here are some ways in which you can use surveys to support specific areas of study and academic research.

Healthcare and medical research

Explore patient demographics, behaviors, access to healthcare, gender health issues, community outreach programs, and more. SurveyMonkey has an extensive selection of healthcare questionnaires and medical research survey templates for you to use.

Healthy lifestyles and behavioral studies

Use health and lifestyle surveys to gather information from research subjects about the way they live. You could learn about nutrition, exercise routines, smoking habits, and more, then connect that data to demographics to learn more about the lifestyles of certain populations.

Child development and education studies

Use templates from our collection of education, school, and academic online survey templates for research projects on family and school relationships, educational outcomes, school climate, online learning programs, student satisfaction, and more. 

Psychology and political science

Correlate attitudes and approaches of specific population groups with perspectives on a range of experiences and issues—from social networking to media consumption, political views to social identity, and more.

Demographic data

Use SurveyMonkey Audience for help in reaching the target audiences for your research, and build relevant, real-world data into your research proposals or business plans. SurveyMonkey has a ready-to-use template of demographics verified by our staff methodologists that you can add to any survey to make sure you know who you’re looking at.

Business studies

Get information on how businesses are run and the challenges people face. Find out about specific industries by reaching out to businesses with questions about location, size, and market.

Economic and social research

In many cases, social and economic researchers are examining the social impact of some type of economic change and notably, how businesses think about social responsibility. This type of research can affect both business and government decision-making.

Launch academic surveys as a group project
SurveyMonkey offers collaboration features to help you create and analyze surveys as a team.
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Tips for launching academic surveys

When you’re conducting academic research, it’s important to gather as much data as possible. Using online survey tools for academic research helps simplify the process and data collection, but your survey still has to grab and hold your respondents’ attention. 

Make them engaging

Keep your audience interested in taking your survey by making the questions engaging. Personalize surveys to particular segments of your respondents. Keep the survey brief and concise, asking only what you need in order to collect the data relevant to your study.

Diversify question types

Balance open- and closed-ended questions to keep respondents interested. While closed-ended questions are fast and easy to answer and quantify, open-ended questions are interesting to answer and provide individualized information you may not otherwise learn.

Remember to stay away from double-barreled, leading, vague, or biased questions. These may frustrate survey participants and affect the quality of the data you receive.

Looking for education surveys?

SurveyMonkey has customizable education survey templates for parent feedback, instructor evaluations, faculty satisfaction, student satisfaction, and even bullying. Browse all survey templates for gathering feedback in academia and education.

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